Blog » Home Insulation and R-Values

Insulation is a critical factor to energy efficiency. When installed properly, insulation has the ability to reduce energy used for both heating and cooling, saving us money and keeping us more comfortable.

With the right amount of properly installed insulation, on average homeowners can save nearly 10% on their home’s total energy expenses.

When we think about insulation, what’s behind our walls is usually the first to come to mind. But, don’t be mistaken–insulation isn’t just behind our walls, it’s actually all over our homes—attics, basements, crawlspaces, floors and roofing systems. Each of these areas in your home requires the right insulation to reduce air leaks and drafts.

Location and installation

Most homes use three or four different types of insulation. These include products and materials such as spray foam, reflective insulation, loose fill, batts and rolls. Each form of insulation has multiple uses, but also restrictions on where they can be installed.  Recommended insulation for particular applications is based on several factors like cost, installation, available space, and resistance to moisture. Choosing the right type and properly installing them is critical to efficiency.   

Types of Home Insulation

Blanket insulation: Rolls come in a continuous panel, cut to fit the application. Batts are pre-cut panels. Blanket insulation, whether rolls, batts or both, is one of the most common forms found in homes across the country. Fiberglass is widely used, although blanket insulation may also be made from mineral wool and natural fibers.

Loose fill: This flexible insulation is best suited for out of reach places as well as irregularly shaped or obstructed areas. Cellulose, fiberglass, and rock wool are several loose fill options available.

Sprayed or foamed-in-place: Also referred to as liquid insulation, this product is used to fill the smallest cracks and crevices. Oftentimes, it’s regarded as a finishing product once other types of insulation are in place. Its ability to block up even the smallest, most out of reach places gives liquid insulation twice the R-value.

Reflective insulation: This radiant barrier greatly decreases downward heat flow improving R-value. More specifically, reflective insulation reduces the heat transfer from underneath the roof through to other surfaces in the attic.

Related:  Benefits of insulated siding

What is R-Value?

R-value is a measure of air tightness and the insulation’s ability to resist heat. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. Various types of insulation, as well  varieties of home siding, each have a different R-value, and together they add up to determine the home’s total R-value. Many states and regions have specifications when it comes to minimum R-values on residential properties in order to achieve a certain level of efficiency.

Insulated Siding Increases R-Value

Truthfully, no standard siding material offers excellent efficiency.  However, when you choose siding that is backed with an added layer of high quality foam insulation, R-value increases considerably.

Insulated siding panels are becoming a popular choice in siding for new homes and home re-siding.  Insulated panels are manufactured with a substantial thickness of insulation. This insulating layer provides an added thermal barrier, extra strength and increased energy efficiency.  Insulated siding also makes a home quieter and enhances indoor comfort.  Many types of insulated exterior cladding are included in the Energy Star program and help qualify new homes as Energy Star Certified. 

Related:  Residing—how to choose the best material

For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be properly insulated from the roof all the way down to the foundation. The type and quality of installation have an equal effect on a home’s R-value. Insulating properties in your roofing system can wear over time. This not only affects home efficiency, but moisture control. To ensure your home’s roofing system and siding is properly insulated to keep your home safe and comfortable, contact PRS Roofing & Siding today.